From OpenStreetMap Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Public-images-osm logo.svg barrier = stile
A structure which provides people a passage through or over a boundary via steps, ladders or narrow gaps. Edit or translate this description.
Rendering in openstreetmap-carto
Barrier stile-14.svg
Group: Barriers
Used on these elements
may be used on nodesshould not be used on waysshould not be used on areasshould not be used on relations
Status: approvedPage for proposal


A stile is a structure which provides people a passage through or over a boundary via steps, ladders or narrow gaps. Identifying stiles is helpful as their presence restricts access. Stone stiles are of particular interest as they form part of the historic landscape. Identifying them helps with preservation work.

How to map

Simply add the tag barrier=stile to the node where the stile is located.

Where there is a stile where a footpath and a road join, do not place a stile at the junction, but at a node on the footpath: Stile-pos.png

Possible rendering

Barrier stile.svg suggested by User:Chrisana13

Stile details

The tag stile=* can be used to provide details of the type of stile. The following have been used:

  • stile=stepover (stiles where people have to step over the barrier.)

Wood step over.jpg

  • stile=squeezer (stiles where people have to pass through a narrow gap in the barrier)

Stone squeezer.jpg

  • stile=ladder (stiles where there is a ladder either side of the barrier)

Ladder stile.jpg

If known, the material should also be tagged. Stone stiles form part of the historic landscape character of the UK and identifying their location is useful in preservation work.

Where possible the stile should be tagged with material=* with values stone, wood or metal.

Some stiles have small "dog gates" attached to them. There is a small hole at ground-level, closed off by a plank of wood that can can be pulled up from the top of the wall/barrier to open up the gate and allow a dog to pass through. I am going to tag these with dog_gate=yes.

Step-over and ladder stiles can have the number of steps added using step_count=*. This can be important in evaluating how easy a stile is to use for people with restricted mobility.


Stone stepover stile

Stone stepover.jpg

The above should be tagged:

barrier=stile, stile=stepover & material=stone

Difficulties in identifying the stile may occur where there is also a gate.

Stone squeezer with gate.jpg

In the above there is a stone squeezer type stile. The landowner has more recently added a wooden gate. This is generally done because the barrier needs to retain smaller animals. In this example the barrier should be tagged: barrier=stile, stile=squeezer & material=stone

The above should not be confused with the following example.

Small gate.jpg

The above is a small gate. barrier=gate The metal gate is not a recent addition and is part of the original barrier. The material for the posts is also concrete rather than stone.

Other additions may be made to stone squeezer type stiles. A wooden stepover may be added afterwards to make the barrier more effective or sometimes a stepover is added through the gap if it has become too narrow for people to pass through.

Stone squeezer wooden stepover.jpg

The primary historic interest will be the stone squeezer and ideally the preferred should be: barrier=stile, stile=squeezer & material=stone in this example.

See also

Other names

Norwegian: Gjerdeklyver, trapp

Common/possible tagging mistakes

If you know places with this tag, verify if it could be tagged with another tag.
Automated edits are strongly discouraged unless you really know what you are doing!

Related terms: ‹ stile ›